Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Month in Favorites: July 2014

Oh, Good Lord, where has the time gone? As the month nears its end, another fast approaches. Ah, August, I see you at the corner of my calendar. The month filled with excitement/nervousness about starting up school again, record temperatures, and sales. I also feel that it is severely lacking in holidays, save for Twins Days in Twinsburg, OH...alas, my home state never disappoints. 

But I digress.

This month has been filled with two weeks of living out of a suitcase, hectic work days, a holiday party or two, and a really, REALLY bad thunderstorm. As a result, I am somewhat lacking in the favorites department this month. But, never fear! I still have a few goodies to share. 

Clinique Liquid Face Soap-- For the past two weeks, I have been using this religiously. Why? It travels a lot easier than bar soap and, it works for multiple skin types. I was sharing this with my Stepmom along with using it on my own, and I must say that it works wonderfully for both our skin types. She has dry skin and I have oily, but it still seemed to get the muck of the day off both of our faces. Of course, she follows up with a heavier moisturizer (it can be a tad drying) but I do have to say that it is an all around good face wash. My only gripe about it is I don't see it lasting nearly as long as the bar (which could last up to a year)--I think it might have about half that life span. But still, I do find that it lathers a lot quicker and a little goes a long way. 

Origins Zero Shine--So here's the drill: 

After a day out during a vacation, we tend to return to the hotel room around 3/4 o'clock to take naps and then freshen up for dinner. I immediately wash my face, change into a sweatshirt, and zonk out for a good two hours (my Dad is a time Nazi and we simply have to leave at 8 in the morning each day). When getting ready for the night, I tend not to use Milk of Magnesia before putting on makeup, simply because I find it a little too rough for the evening (most of my oil production occurs in the morning). Instead, I reach for this and it does a quality job of keeping oil at bay for a few hours for my terribly oily skin. For those who have less oily skin but still experience shine throughout the day, this would be a great option for you. 

Conair Travel Bottles-- This might seem like a complete rando, but still, I was pleasantly surprised with my latest purchase in the less than 3.4 oz world. Whilst at Target buying a few last minute things for vacation, I stumbled across these rather mundane containers. I must say that even though they are very compact they still hold quite a bit of product. I filled them with my face wash, toner, and milk of magnesia, and at the end of two weeks I was surprised to see that they bottles were each over half full. I know it seems odd that I am talking up such a frivolous thing like travel containers, but I must say that it was A LOT easier toting these around than the full sizes like I usually do. It also comes with a handy slide-top bag, keeping them all together and saving them from possibly getting opened. 

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + -- Do you ever find those long-lost treasures in your collection that you remember first discovering and the joy at coming across it again? That's me at the moment. I have talked up Mat Velvet time and time again, but this month I have been having a passionate love affair with it. In my last post, I mentioned that I mix it with Benefit's Big Easy along with wearing it on it's own. In short, if you have oily skin, this is something to give a go. I have heard from one person with very dry skin that they enjoyed it as well, so go ahead and get yourself a sample before making the plunge. 

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream-- Oh ma gah. First off, I'm pretty sure this is the most famous "secret weapon" in the makeup world. The AHMAZING Lisa Eldridge has mentioned this in many a-video on YouTube, and might I just mention that PRINCE HARRY USES THIS STUFF WHEN HE GOES ON THOSE ARTIC TRECS. In my opinion, that's reason enough to purchase it, even if it were total crap. IT'S FRIGGIN PRINCE HARRY. But alas, this stuff actually works, really really well. I have it in two forms: in baby food-esque container and a tube like Chapstick. The tube I have had for nearly two years and I've finally reached the end, but the other one looks like I haven't even touched it, even though I use it daily. This is the best product that I have ever come across for lips; I use religiously when I fly and I applied it liberally whenever I had to go outside during our double-negative-degree winter. It also smells divine--just like my favorite scent from Bath and Body Works, Orange Ginger. 

P.S. Fun fact for ya, Elizabeth Arden actually used this on her thoroughbred horses, and one woman claimed it healed her son's scraped knee in 8 hours (hence where it got its name). So, yeah. There's that. I guess Neosporin wasn't cool enough. 

As for music, there have been a few songs that have grabbed ahold of my attention and won't give it back. First is "Feel the Love" by Rudimental ft. John Newman. I know I'm a little late to this song, but good Lord! It seems like the UK is reluctant to share all of the good music it has over there! I honestly had only heard about Rudimental once or twice prior to downloading their whole album, but I looked them up after seeing the lineup at the Glastonbury Festival. Their album also features a song with my girl, Becky Hill. 

Speaking of, it seems that every time I find a song that I like, Becky Hill is providing the vocals. A few months ago, whilst browsing BuzzFeed, I came across an article that promised to show they most disturbingly odd music video the house/club music genre had ever seen. They did not disappoint. "Gecko (Overdrive)" has one of those music videos that was probably planned and filmed during an acid trip. Not gonna lie, it's not for the weak of heart. But the song itself is actually a great one, and terribly addicting. On the long drive from Salem, Oregon to Napa over vacation, I actually had this on repeat for nearly an hour like a twelve-year-old. And to be completely honest, I'm listening to it right now. On Repeat. 

Surprisingly, the song "Hideaway" by Kiesza has snuck its way into my playlist of the month, as well. Not gonna lie, the main reason why I am digging on this song is the fact that the music video is AHMAZE. Go watch it for yourself and you'll see what I mean. 

And finally, it should come as no surprise to you that Lorde is one of my favorites of all time. I downloaded Pure Heroine as soon as I first heard "Royals", and since then I have been (not so) mildly obsessed with her. Seriously, it seems that every song she sings can do no wrong. This month, I've been listening to "Biting Down", a bonus track off of Pure Heroine Extended. It seriously is too badass for words. 

As for the dislikes of the month, there are only two, and they both are completely out of control. But, if you know anything about me, you know I will still complain about it. 

First off is the WiFi in planes. Now, don't get me wrong, it's cool that it's available. What's not cool is the price. I'm not really a huge fan of having to pay for internet at the airport, so naturally I feel the same way about it on the plane. I feel like since we already paid so much for the ticket, this should be included with our free drink and bag of pretzels. The other thing that teed me off is that you can't stream video. I bought it for the sole purpose of binging on Netflix, but alas, I couldn't. After googling it, I found out that the signal supposedly isn't strong enough to support Netflix, which I found interesting, seeing as though I streamed a YouTube video with no problem. Even more interesting is that Go-Go WiFi has both TV shows AND movies available for purchase...hmmmm. I'm calling your bluff, Plane WiFi. 

So, if you thought my last dislike was out of my control, this one is on a whole other playing field. Let's talk about hills, shall we? Specifically the hills in San Francisco. They flip me the f*ck out. I don't know about you, but I don't feel particularly safe when it feels like the car it at a 90 degree angle and approaching a stop sign. I feel like the city planners are just setting people up for failure by placing the stop signs at the top or bottom of really high hills. Methinks a fender bender or two has been the result of said placement. 

And don't even get me started with Lombard Street. Good Lord. For those who don't know, it is the "Crookedest Street in the US". It is also probably one of the most crowded. I honestly feel really bad for the people who live on it; I seriously wonder how many tourists they have to dodge just to pull in/back out of their driveway. Also, it was on this street that I witnessed something I've never seen before--the engine heat gauge lifted above the middle. So I know that I didn't use the correctly terminology at all, but still, it was scary. I have never seen that happen before, but perhaps it's because I'm a novice in the auto world. Might I just add that we were driving a Jeep on these hills? Aren't Jeeps made for this kind of terrain? All I have to say is that if you drive a stick and are planing to move to San Francisco, set aside money for a new clutch. 

That being said, I hope you all had a wonderful July. Can you believe the year is more than half over? Craziness!

Happy Reading!

Stay Excellent, 


P.S. I must apologize for not including original photos in this post. Nearly everything I featured is currently 8 hours away at my Dad's house. I hope you can forgive me! ;)

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